HVAC Improvements for House Selling

There comes a time when a person has to consider selling the house. It may be due to a job transfer or simply moving to a bigger home that causes the decision to be made. Getting the house ready for sale may take some time and a few home improvements will add to the value of property. Work on the HVAC systems, including the air-conditioning and heat pumps, can raise the selling price.

Repair/Renovation

Too many homeowners will make unnecessary renovations to try to improve the value of their house. Some of these are very cosmetic and a prospective homebuyer could care less about them. Working on the HVAC system is different. Seeing to it that the ducts have been properly sealed and that the heat pump is in good working order can be beneficial. Prospective buyers want to be assured that the systems in good working order, so scheduling an inspection and maintenance a few weeks before the viewing will help. A homeowner may even want to keep a copy of the inspection to show to people interested in the house.

Installing New HVAC

Energy-efficient air-conditioning units and heat pumps are definite value adders to the selling price. A homeowner may want to consider installation of either and if that is the strategy, it would be a smart idea to check with a tax accountant on what possible breaks are available. Depending on the terms and conditions, a homeowner could get tax rebates and incentives for installing ENERGY STAR approved HVAC machinery. The HVAC system may also qualify as a capital improvement to the home and that is tax-deductible. It is important, however, to speak with a knowledgeable tax person before making the investment in a new HVAC system.

 A well running HVAC system adds value for no other reason than it keeps utility bills low. That can add a few thousand dollars on to the final selling price of the house. A homeowner should do some planning and get a few cost estimates before doing anything major, but even fine-tuning the HVAC system is going to mean extra cash when the house is finally sold.

Going Over the Checkpoints

This is the best time to take a look at the air-conditioning unit of the house. There won’t be any need for air-conditioning until the weather gets hot, and a little tune-up work can guarantee the best results from the air conditioner. Rather than just looking into the machinery see if anything looks unusual, a decent check checklist can guide the homeowner in doing this winter maintenance on the unit.

Things to Do

ENERGY STAR is a program administered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and they have developed what can be considered a bucket list for air-conditioning maintenance. Among the things that should be included in a routine inspection include:

  • Checking the condensate drain so there is no water backup occurring;
  • Take a look at the blower components to be sure that they are cleaned. This is important because if the regular flow of air is blocked it can result in a serious reduction in air-conditioning; efficiency;
  • Inspect the thermostat settings to be sure that what is registered is reflected in the actual temperature of the room;
  • Inspect the refrigerant and check for leaks.

Drawing the Line

There should be a dividing point in the checklist. A homeowner must appreciate that he or she does not have all of the expertise needed to do a complete job. There are some assignments like patching a refrigerant leak that ought to be left to professionals. Those people have the proper equipment and stores knowledge to best deal with major tune up work. There’s no reason to risk a mistake.

Maintenance that is governed by a list makes certain that the essential components are inspected and necessary adjustments or repair completed. Air conditioning that is at peak performance will not only provide the cooling air that makes house comfortable, but will also do it using as little energy as possible and keeping utility bills under reasonable control.

Maintaining Efficient Ducts

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The US Department of Energy estimates that the typical duct system of a house will lose anywhere from 25 to 40% of either heating or cooling energy. Those statistics are more than just sobering. Many Phoenix, Arizona homeowners will invest a great deal of money in energy-efficient HVAC systems, but if the duct system is not working properly, any savings brought on by the energy efficiency is negated.

Suspect Areas

The energy loss primarily comes from leaks in the duct system. Small perforations or openings can cause warm or cool air to escape from the ducts. The leaks are in effect heating or cooling the atmosphere, and this also means that the central furnace has to expend even more energy to keep rooms at the desired temperature. The areas where there is potential for such problems include the attic or crawlspaces. The ducts ought to be inspected in those locations and the right type of sealant must be used to seal up any openings. Once that is done the ducts should be wrapped in sturdy insulation to prevent excess heat in the summer or winter cold.

Possible Health Hazard

While the level of risk may not be life-threatening, leaky ducts present an opportunity for lower pressure within the system and that can pull gases from the furnace. This includes carbon monoxide, which could circulate in the atmospheric especially around the furnace. There’s also the chance of radon gas leaking into the atmosphere through defective ducts. These possible health hazards are enough to warrant the ducts be inspected in an annual checkup.

If the owner does not feel confident inspecting the ducts or if he or she does not have the proper equipment, Air Care Phoenix HVAC contractor can provide the service necessary. These companies have trained technicians who inspect the ductwork thoroughly and will do maintenance. Investments in energy-efficient HVAC equipment is a good idea but the proper conditions for less use of energy need to be maintained. Routine checkups on the duct system will prevent leaks from creating higher utility bills.

Contact our office a certified technician will be available 480-238-2273.

 

Understanding the Terminology

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HVAC equipment has its own terminology which sometimes confuses a consumer. Anyone looking to buy air-conditioning units Phoenix or heat pumps gets a little confused and don’t always understand the importance of certain acronyms. Knowing what the special terms mean can help in making a buying decision.

SEER, EER and HSPF

The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is used to measure the efficiency of an air conditioner unit. It is the measure of the cooling output that happens during a cooling season and is divided by the total electrical energy output of the same time. In the United States that would be the ratio of the British thermal unit (BTU) to the watt hours of energy which are consumed. Plainly spoken, this ratio gives a picture of the amount of energy required to create a certain level of cooling output. The lowest SEER permitted commercially is 13, and the higher the rating will mean the more efficient energy-wise the air-conditioning unit happens to be.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is the ratio of BTU to watt hours of energy consumed. Like the SEER, the efficiency of an air conditioner is greater if the rating is higher. The standard for air conditioner units sold United States is a range of 8.0-9.8 or more.

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) measures the energy efficiency over one heating season of heat pumps. It is the ratio of BTU to watt hours during the given period. The industry standard is that heat pumps must have a rating of no less than 6.8.

ENERGY STAR Standards

The efficiency of an ENERGY STAR product can be better understood given these industry standards mentioned above.

For an air source heat pump to be used for a split system, ENERGY STAR requires the following: SEER, no less than 14.5; EER, no less than12; HSPF, no less than 8.2 ratings.

Central air conditioners to be used for split systems: SEER, no less than14.5; EER, no less than a 12 rating.

Single package equipment have slightly less rating requirements, but it is obvious that ENERGY STAR insists on a higher than normal ratings as far as efficiency is concerned. This means that while the product may be a bit more expensive, the energy efficiency is at the top end of the spectrum.

Various Heat Pumps to Consider

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People who are thinking of doing some home improvements want to get as much out of their investment as possible. A reason why homeowners are willing to invest in heat pumps is the energy efficiency and low utility bills that will result. There is more than one type of heat pump on the market, and these will provide both heat and cooling service to a house.

The Basics of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are a viable alternative to traditional furnace and air conditioning service. Essentially, they use electricity and heat pumps will transfer heat from one area to another depending on the time of the year. The energy efficiency comes from the fact heat pumps move heat and do not generate it. It means less fossil fuel is used to create needed warm or cool air.

The Types of Heat Pumps

Air  source heat pump is widely used and this transfers heat from the outside to the inside of the residence. This type of heat pump is an exceptionally good dehumidifier, and can provide excellent air-conditioning service in warm months. It also can cut the use of electricity by over a third of the normal use. Because these types do not work very well in very cold climates, a secondary source of heat will have to be available.

Geothermal heat pumps will transfer heat from the ground or any water source that is close by. These have low operating costs and can be used in cold climates where an air – source heat pump is not very effective. The absorption heat pump is a new model and will use heat as the energy source. This particular heat pump is fairly flexible in that any number of heat sources can be used.

The homeowner has the decision to make of which heat pump to be used. Before making a purchase that individual should take in consideration the climate, the subsoil of the property, and whether or not a backup source of heat is needed. Heat pumps provide both good heat and air conditioning service, and will do this using less energy than ordinary fossil fuel burning systems.

 

Summer….It’s just around the corner

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The holiday season is over and all the Christmas boxes and wrapping paper have been thrown in the trash. In case people aren’t noticing, the days are gradually getting longer minute by minute. It also should come as no surprise as the weeks go by how the outdoor starts to get a little bit warmer. It’s all gradual but summer is going to happen sooner than anyone thinks. The air conditioner has not been called on to do much in the past few weeks but that will change. Now is the time to get ready for June with an air conditioning checkup.

 

The Main Components

A homeowner might not have the skills to do the inspection, but this person should at least have an understanding of what the HVAC technician is talking about at the time of an air conditioning checkup. Modern air conditioning units are situated outside of the house and pump liquid refrigerant into what is known as the air – handling unit (AHU) inside the building. The AHU generates the cooling air and will force it through the ducts into the living spaces of the house. The ducts themselves are made ordinarily of sheet metal and moved the cooling air into the living spaces. Ducts by the way also return the air to the AHU. Thanks are the openings through which the cool air enters into the room.

 

Possible Problems That Need To Be Investigated

Refrigerant leaks are the most important concern because the liquid chemicals can be an environmental danger. Ducts have to be sealed properly to avoid air leaks that either emit cool air into the atmosphere, or permit warmer outside air to come uncooled into the ventilation system. Both vents and ducts have to be free of dust accumulations or mold so as to provide air freely and without having mold spores get into the atmosphere. The air conditioning inspection does not have to be expensive, but the system ought to be looked at to make sure that there is nothing that prevents top efficiency of a service so often used. An air conditioning checkup done now is a good idea because it is not as expensive as it will be in May, when everyone is trying to get their air conditioner ready.

Window Unit or Central Air which one would benefit my home?

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Central Air VS Window Units

Mesa, Arizona homeowners often ask what type of air conditioning unit would best fit their needs. Both window units and central air systems can effectively cool an enclosed area.  There are differences between window air conditioning units and central air systems.  The type of air conditioning model that is best can depend on a number of different factors. The size of the space that customers want to cool is the most important factor. The power of both Window and Central Air conditioning units are measured in EER’s, which stands for Energy Efficiency Ratio.

Window Units are great for Small Areas

Window air conditioning units are great for cooling small spaces.  A smaller home can be perfect for window units because there is not a lot of space to cool.  They are also great for cooling down one specific area and are a great options for those who are low on funds.  Most  window units rate around 9.4 to 10.7 EER’s.

Central Air are great for large structures

It is one of the most common home improvement projects and they add value to a home. The amount of windows a home has and how the sun hits are factors that can determine which type of air conditioning unit is best. Many different factors are considered for what size central air unit is required.   There are four major brands that we prefer to install which are Trane, Rheem, Carrier and Ameristar.  Central air systems also rate in EER’s minimum of 12, but are measured on a different scale. They are reliable and can last a lot longer than typical window units.

Call a Professional to help with your decision

Customers should contact a Mesa A/C contractor to help them get accurate and reliable information prior to making their purchase to ensure it is the best educated decision for their home.

Copper Theft is on the rise!

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Tips to Protection You from Being a Victim of Copper Theft

The increase in copper prices has caused a major issue for both Home and Business owners. Copper prices have been on the rise for the past few years which has caused an increase in copper theft. The easiest target for the copper thief is an outdoor air conditioning system.  May Home and Business owners may be surprised by how quickly copper thieves can dismantle an outdoor unit and steal the copper.  The Home and Business owners are faced paying the insurance deductible when copper theft occurs. There are a few things that homeowners and commercial buildings can do to reduce their risk of being victimized by copper thieves.

Ideas on how to protect the unit from Copper Theft

We suggests that AZ residential and commercial air conditioning customers install fencing to the surrounding area.  If fencing in not an option then we recommend putting outdoor lighting around their unit.  Motion sensor lights will deter most Thieves as they are less likely to target a home or business that is well lit to avoid getting caught red handed. Phoenix A/C Contractor also recommends placing a cage around the air conditioning unit to prevent copper theft.  The easiest way to put a stop to copper theft is to keep the air conditioning unit out of view.

Learn More Information

The Copper thieves make $20 to $75 for the copper they take into their local scrap metal dealers, but homeowners and commercial businesses face large and expensive repair bills.   Keep in mind that most times the thief is successful in getting the copper regardless of the challenge or obstacles they have to go through.  There has been two Copper Theft laws in Arizona  passed  Bill 2262 Department of Public Safety will register scrap metal dealers and Bill 2396 which requires the thieves that are caught to be charged based on the amount of damage not off the low value of the scrap metal.  If you see suspicious activity call your local law enforcement to investigate the situation.

Phoenix Air Conditioning Installation

Air Conditioning Replacement Phoenix AZ

 

Thinking of Replacing Your A/C Unit?  Why Now Is Better Than the Middle of Summer…

Air Conditioning Phoenix

Old Air Conditioning

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New Air Conditioning

That old Phoenix Air Conditioning Unit was not doing so well by Seasons end last year, your technician had advised you to be looking into a new unit, you have added on to your home and need a bigger unit, or, worse yet, you may know your Air Conditioner does not work right now and will need to be replaced for your summer comfort.  Whatever the cause, there are many reasons to consider choosing to have the replacement done now rather than later on in the midst of our extreme summer heat here in the Valley.

 

If you even think you may need a new Air Conditioning unit this year, seriously consider calling a technician now.  Right now, their schedules are not quite as full, they will be able to come see you at your convenience rather than when they can fit you in, with much less wait time than you will experience during peak summer months .  A typical appointment can be two days or more in the midst summer with most companies, but with a quality air conditioning contractor they will be able to respond quickly. Air Care Cooling & Heating has some of the fastest response times in Phoenix Arizona.  Air Care responds fast because we know when you call it means you need a technician now.  Even if a technician can be there within a few hours, the removal and installation can be accomplished rather quickly but it’s still best not to be in that situation.  An assessment can be made and a recommendation then begins the wait, in the heaviest heat of our hot Arizona desert summers.

 

Phoenix Air Conditioning installation can be tricky in the summer if you have a special application. Availability of a variety of models and sizes are greater now than they will be as summer progressively gets closer.  Air Conditioning suppliers are not keeping as large of an on hand inventory as they used to.  Often times an AC order needs to be placed for units to match specific needs.  Then you have to allow for delivery time as well as HVAC installation time.  Of course if you are in an emergency situation in the heat of the summer a unit can be installed, even If it is not best suited to your needs, however, this can lead you right back to where you started, needing a new unit, only now, you are out hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars.

 

Prices also tend to go up during the summer months for services, technicians and for Air Conditioning units themselves.  By planning now, and avoiding repeated  air conditioning repairs, you can save a bundle and pay less for the exact same services that can cost you more later in the sweltering hot summer months ahead.

 

The very best and most important reason for scheduling your Air Conditioning unit replacement now is because right now you will not miss, or even notice while your old unit is being removed, the best suited model is ordered, delivered and then the new unit is installed, ready to keep you and your household comfortable all throughout the extreme summer months. In the Heat of the summer, the longer your Air Conditioning Unit is not cooling your home, the more damage can be done to other objects in your home and cause losses greater than you ever imagined from our intense summer heat.

 

Plan now, make that appointment to get your unit replaced and protect your home, your health, your family, and your pets.  Save money and relax, remember, there is no price for peace of mind, but you can buy it now with a little prior planning and stay cool in the comfort of your home unaware of the sweltering heat outside.  Make a appointment today.